LLOYD (FLOYD, FLUDD), Robert, of ?The Savoy, Westminster and Leighton Hall, nr. Welshpool, Mont.
Available from Cambridge University Press
Family and Education
m. Mary, da. of Griffith Lewis, of Leighton Hall, Mont. ?s.p.; kntd. 19 July 1616.1 sig. ?Rob[ert] Fludd.
Sewer, Anne of Denmark’s Household by 1608-18, adm., Anne of Denmark’s Household by 1616-?18.5
Patentee, engrossing of wills and inventories 1620-1.6
Despite his place in Anne of Denmark’s Household, Lloyd’s ancestry remains obscure: the only contemporary reference to his origins states that ‘his beginning was base (for he came to Court from being an ordinary servingman)’. He was thus unlikely to have been related to landed families such as the Lloyds of Bodidris, Denbighshire, or the Lloyds of Berthllwyd, Montgomeryshire; nor should he be confused with his contemporary Robert Lloyd† of Rhiwgoch, Merioneth.7 He acquired an estate near Welshpool, Montgomeryshire by marriage, which had formerly belonged to the Lloyds of nearby Nant Cibba Hall, and may have been related to this family, descendants of a soldier knighted at the battle of Agincourt.8 This makes it possible that he was the Robert Lloyd who was appointed keeper of Montgomery gaol in 1598, a grant procured by David Penry, groom of the chamber to Queen Elizabeth. Another Robert Lloyd, from Shropshire, matriculated at Oxford in 1600 and later proceeded to an MA, but this was perhaps a career path more suited to a clergyman than a courtier.9
Whatever his origins, Lloyd had acquired a position as sewer to the queen by 1608. It was probably he who served as a commissioner for the sale of timber on Welsh Crown lands in 1609, and he may also have conducted a search of legal records for John Wyn Edwards, sheriff of Anglesey, in 1613.10 He was certainly the Robert Lloyd who was returned to the Commons for Ludlow on 11 May 1614, as the corporation records positively identify him as the queen’s servant. Ludlow’s connection to the queen stemmed from the fact that it paid Anne a fee farm of £33 6s. 8d. p.a. Lloyd’s election enabled the corporation to spurn a rival nomination from lord president (Ralph) Eure†, who had been striving to establish a claim to electoral patronage since 1609.11 On 26 May a ‘Mr. Lloyd’ - either the courtier or the Merioneth MP Ellis Lloyd - moved that Bishop Neile, who had attacked the Commons for questioning the Crown’s right to collect impositions, should be reported to the king, ‘because this a scandal capital’. This motion, had it been adopted, would have provoked a privilege dispute with the Lords, but in the event it was resolved to draft a protest to the Lords instead.12
In 1616 Lloyd and Lord Knyvett (Sir Thomas Knyvett*), the queen’s surveyor-general, were authorized to collect £6,000 worth of old debts on Anne’s behalf, but this grant appears not to have passed the Great Seal. A warrant of 1617 reviving Elizabethan cloth duties, which were to be collected by Lloyd and Prince Charles’s secretary, Thomas Murray, may also never have been acted upon, as it was eventually superseded by the farm of the pretermitted customs.13 By this time Lloyd had been appointed ‘admiral’ to the queen, presumably with responsibility for enforcing claims to wrecks and flotsam on her coastal estates. He was said to have acquired an income of £800 a year in royal service, but in Michaelmas 1618 he fell from favour when he fraudulently secured a 21-year farm of the fines and amercements from the queen’s jointure estates at a rent of only £10 a year. He was summarily dismissed and his grant revoked, while two of his colleagues who showed him some favour during his disgrace were barred from Court.14
The queen’s death only six months later may have mitigated the consequences of Lloyd’s hubris, and he was soon seeking preferment elsewhere. In October 1620, with the assistance of the marquess of Buckingham, he was granted a patent for the engrossing of wills and inventories registered in the probate courts of Canterbury and York dioceses. The generous fees made this a potentially lucrative sinecure, but it is difficult to believe that the grant was made in good faith, as Buckingham was already being advised that contentious patents should be revoked in anticipation of the Parliament which had been summoned three weeks earlier. It was perhaps with this threat in mind that Lloyd secured a seat at Minehead, Somerset, perhaps by promising to assist the corporation in defending its claim to parliamentary representation, which was under attack from the manorial lord, George Luttrell.15
Lloyd was duly named to the privileges’ committee at the start of the session (5 Feb.), and when Luttrell petitioned against Minehead’s return, Lloyd and his fellow MP, the townsman Francis Peirce, registered their protest on 21 Feb.; they were granted time to search for precedents before making their case to the privileges’ committee.16 They discovered that the borough’s right had been questioned in 1563, and Sir George More’s report doubted whether the claim could be proven, but Lloyd insisted that extensive gaps in the parliamentary returns during the late Middle Ages made it impossible to refute the claim to representation. The committee accepted this rather feeble argument on 16 Mar., on the grounds that 30 other boroughs would be liable to disenfranchisement if Minehead’s case was rejected.17 Meanwhile, four days earlier, complaints had been made against Lloyd’s wills patent. He indignantly rejected the charge of ‘projecting’ for his own private gain, insisting that ‘one Price’ had suggested the scheme to him a dozen years earlier, but he admitted that the grant had been furthered by the favourite’s brother Christopher Villiers. On 21 Mar. Lloyd insisted upon the utility of the project: ‘the king hath granted this patent for the reformation of the exactions of proctors ... none complaineth but the proctors, no subject complaineth. That this beneficial for avoiding exactions. That he is to engross more for 5s. than is in many offices for £5’. His counsel detailed the practical benefits of a scheme to produce authenticated copies of wills, while among his fellow MPs, Sir John Walter and Sir James Perrot were prepared to offer support. However, the patent was condemned, and damning testimony from Sir William Herbert ensured Lloyd’s expulsion from the House: ‘he a projector; and hath followed it with more violence than any other. Heard the king at Hampton Court more inveigh against this patent than ever did against any other’.18
While the wills patent was not among those condemned by Proclamation during the summer recess, it was suspended indefinitely by the Privy Council on 18 July 1621. This incident appears to have put an end to Lloyd’s Court career. Nothing further has been discovered about him.19
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: George Yerby / Simon Healy
- 1. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 159.
- 2. C66/1499.
- 3. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 103.
- 4. Salop RO, LB2/1/1, f. 104.
- 5. REQ 2/302/36; E315/107, f. 15v; C2/Jas.I/L14/25.
- 6. C66/2220/1.
- 7. SP14/96/16; J.E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams., 282; Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, i. 311; ELLIS LLOYD.
- 8. Dwnn, i. 276, 289, 302; C2/Jas.I/L14/25.
- 9. C66/1499; Al. Ox.
- 10. REQ 2/302/36; HMC Hatfield, xxi. 103; NLW, Bodewryd 7A.
- 11. Salop RO, LB2/1/1, f. 104; LB8/1/136/4-7; LB8/2/57-74; LUDLOW.
- 12. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 359-60.
- 13. SP39/6/1; E124/24, f. 130v; CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 444.
- 14. C2/Jas.I/L18/17; SP14/96/16; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, ii. 77.
- 15. C66/2220/1; CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 187; Harl. 7000, f. 37; Letters and Life of Francis Bacon ed. J. Spedding, vii. 148-9; MINEHEAD.
- 16. CJ, i. 508a; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, i. 68; CD 1621, ii. 87; v. 481.
- 17. SP12/77/44; CJ, i. 536b, 537b, 556b; Nicholas, i. 175.
- 18. Nicholas, i. 147, 198; CJ, i. 565-7; CD 1621, v. 61.
- 19. APC, 1621-3, p. 21.